Leading trainer Tony McEvoy won his first feature race in Tasmania for almost 20 years when two-year-old filly Jyoti produced an amazingly tough performance to win the $150,000 Gold Sovereign Stakes at Mowbray on Wednesday night.
The heavily-backed $2.70 into $1.85 favourite, hit the front on the home turn but looked under siege in the straight.
However she responded bravely to Jamie Kah's hard riding over the last 100m and got home by a short neck over local filly Gee Gee Josie with Victorian visitor Avenue Of Pleasure another short neck away third.
McEvoy trains in partnership with his son Calvin and has stables in Victoria and South Australia.
He was based in Adelaide and training for Lindsay Park in 2003 when he won the Hobart Cup with Jeune's Mark and Strutt Stakes with Flag of Pride.
Neither McEvoy was at the track but on the stable's web site Calvin said that Jyoti had been "a little on the small side early on and had immature knees" but had really progressed this preparation.
"She has come out of left field which is why she wasn't nominated for the Blue Diamond (at Caulfield) and we've had to look interstate."
Owner Craig Dunn, while accepting the trophy, said the stable had done "a sensational job" to get Jyoti to a black type win at only her third start.
"And what a ride - you can put that one in the book, Jamie," he said.
As brave as the winner was, it was impossible to take anything away from runner-up Gee Gee Josie, who was trapped three and four wide the trip, while Avenue Of Pleasure ran on well from back in the field to grab third ahead of Le Cadeau who also produced a big run.
Later in the night, White Hawk secured automatic entry into the Launceston Cup with a narrow win over the fast-finishing Settler's Stone in the $30,000 Night Cup.
LOCALS LEFT TO CHASE VISITOR
Visiting Cranbourne trainer Matthew Brown has a good opinion of three-year-old gelding Chase On The Case who was backed as if unbeatable before winning the Maiden Plate.
Ridden by Jason Maskiell and starting $1.45 after peaking at $2.10 on tab.com.au, Chase On The Case finished too strongly for the other well-backed runner, Catch Me Paddy ($8.50 into $4.80), to score by two lengths.
"This horse is his own worst enemy - he has plenty of tricks up his sleeve - but this looked his race," Brown said.
"He has been over-racing and doing a few things wrong so I changed a few little head pieces.
"Hopefully, this is a stepping stone to better things because he works like a horse that I've always thought could measure up to winning a midweek race in Melbourne."
Chase On The Case had three starts in Tasmania as a two-year-old and was placed behind Mystical Pursuit and Deroche in the Gold Sovereign.
He is one of several horses that Brown is campaigning in Tasmania.
"They'll each have one or two runs here then this bloke and (Sunday's Elwick winner) Nero Veloce might stay with Glenn Stevenson for a few more," the trainer said.
TWO (WINS) OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD
Rowella trainer Dylan Clark only had to stay for the first three races on the 10-event card but it was long enough to land two winners.
After finishing second in the first race with Catch Me Paddy, Clark took out the next two with Nippycool and Equilago.
A drifter in the betting from $11 to $26, Equilago finished strongly to beat Holy Diamond and Gympins.
"I didn't think she could win tonight from the outside barrier but Anthony (Darmanin) put her in a lovely spot and she went really well," Clark said.
"She's always been able to gallop but we've had a lot of trouble with her.
"She had her first start for me on Devonport Cup day last year and I thought she'd just win but she broke a pedal bone."
Equilago didn't race again for 11 months but had been runner-up at two of her four starts since resuming.
As well as her injury problems, Clark said the four-year-old was suspect at the barriers.
"The barrier boys and clerks did a good job tonight to get her in," he said.
Odds-on favourite Sirene Stryker loomed to win on the home turn but was soon under pressure and was eased down.